The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability held its first hearing to examine Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices on May 10. The hearing invited the state attorney generals from Alabama and Utah to provide testimony and answer questions from committee members.
ESG has recently become heavily politicized, particularly at the state level. In Texas, for example, Gov. Greg Abbott has banned firms from doing business with Texas after determining that they do not support the fossil fuel industry because of their ESG stances. On Capitol Hill, Republicans argue that ESG principles are a scheme to pressure companies to adopt policies that undermine performance and disincentivize investment in domestic energy production. With domestic and international energy demand increasing according to all scenarios, investments in fossil fuels are critical to meet current and future global energy needs.
Led by Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY-01), the hearing discussed a number of topics, including the effects of ESG on industries such as steel and coal production, the impact of ESG policies on national security and energy dependence, the role of China in the global energy sector, the 2015 Paris Agreement, and the responsibilities of asset managers and fiduciaries. Witnesses at the hearing included Attorney General Steve Marshall from Alabama, Attorney General Sean Reyes from Utah and State Treasurer Michael Frerichs from Illinois.
Maria Suarez-Simmons, Senior Director Energy Policy, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.